Author Archives: Ivan Bettger

Product Manager of the Typekit Library. I’ve been learning about type on the job since 2005. Other activities include obsessing over basketball uniform aesthetics, discussing comic books with colleagues, and coming up with new ways to include orgeat in cocktails.

New Fonts: Progreso and Calypso I Heavy

We’ve had an abundance of new fonts recently, most of which you have likely seen in our bi-weekly newsletter. Here are a couple of new ones you may have missed:

Progreso by CastleType

Jason Castle was inspired by 1920s Russian lettering when designing the condensed unicase Progreso. Fittingly, it contains Cyrillic language support, in addition to Western, Central European, and Greek.

Calypso I Heavy by Typolar

Jarno Lukkarila‘s Calypso I Heavy has Italian aesthetic origins (hence the “I”), its heavy decorative letters somewhat reminiscent (to me, at least) of Western All’Italiana poster lettering. Calypso I Heavy is based on Lukkarila’s extensive Egyptian Grotesque family, Calypso E.

50% Off: OurType’s Meran, Eva, and Fayon

Last month, FontShop introduced two new families from OurType: the all-in-one sans serif Fakt by Thomas Thiemich, and Valentin Brustaux’s discreet, yet strong, serif Tiina. For a limited time, both families were offered with a generous 40% discount.

This month OurType has upped the ante. From now until May 31, OurType’s Meran, Eva, and Fayon are being offered for an astounding 50% off. Use the promotional code OURTYPE50 during checkout for any font product from these three families.

And just to sweeten the pot, OurType is also offering select styles from each family entirely free of charge. You can give the complimentary fonts a test run, then come back for the family when you realize how great they are.

And as if this deal isn’t big enough, here’s something else to keep in mind: OurType’s standard End User License Agreement allows for editable embedding. This includes:

  • Web embedding, using @font-face, Cufón, and sIFR
  • Editable PDF embedding
  • Flash embedding


Maurice Göldner’s Meran grew out of an exercise to construct capital letters from strips of black paper. Its origins make Meran difficult to characterize. A sans? Undoubtedly, but its angular forms might also qualify it as a “contemporary rotunda”. A 3-width, 6-weight text face that works equally well in headlines as it does in small print.

Meran is available in Standard or Pro which adds small caps; lining, old style and small cap figures (each in tabular and proportional widths); fractions; comprehensive superiors, inferiors, nominators and denominators; case sensitive punctuation sets; mathematical and monetary symbols; arrows; standard and discretionary ligatures; and support for all (Latin script based) Western, Central and East European languages.

Free until May 31:

Download the Meran specimen PDF (418 KB).


Named after the warm, organic work of ceramicist Eva Zeisel, Eva defies the popular image of a sans, thanks to the contrast in its strokes and the freedom with which they have been drawn. This friendly personality provides added interest at larger sizes, yet Eva also has a notable clarity, and it works well for setting continuous text. Indeed, it was Zeisel’s “playful search for beauty” that is the crucial connection between her and her audience. Designers Merel Matzinger and Fred Smeijers hope their typeface achieves a similar feeling.

Free until May 31:

Download the Eva specimen PDF (291 KB).


A fresh take on the Didot style, OurType Fayon is a contemporary, high performance family for text. Designed by Peter Mohr.

Free until May 31:

Download the Fayon specimen PDF (3.6 MB).

The 50% discount and free font offer expires May 31. I’m not sure why you’re still here and not over at downloading like crazy.

New Fountain Type: Foral and Satura

Last month, FontShop released a couple of new typefaces from the masterful designers at Fountain. Let’s take a look:

Foral by Rui Abreu

Download the PDF (4.3 MB).

Foral was designed and developed over a four year period, starting in 2006 with a rigid and sober foundation. It evolved into a more organic and fluid typeface, maintaining its geometric skeleton but with a softer, more approachable exterior. Check out the very cool and unique Foral trailer:

Foral comes in eight weights, each with italics and a number of OpenType features. Abreu‘s sans serif Forma is based on the same geometric skeleton and will pair well with Foral in a pinch.

Satura by Peter Bruhn and Göran Söderström

Download the PDF (6.2 MB).

Satura was conceived and grown under unique circumstances. As Fountain tells it:

A creative collaboration between Göran Söderström (Stockholm) and Peter Bruhn (Malmö), Satura began with Göran’s concept for a reversed contrast typeface — one in which the horizontal strokes are heavy, rather than the more traditional vertical stress. Sparked by these ideas, Peter responded with his own thoughts. For months, the design bounced back and forth over the Nordic intertubes until the summer of 2010 when the friends met in Malmö to complete the project in person. Type design is most often a solitary undertaking, so perhaps it is this dialogue between the two Swedes that makes Satura so unique.

Derived from a Latin word meaning “mixed dish”, the Satura Suite is four related, but distinct, families: Satura, the mother, a display face with reversed contrast; Satura Parts, a stencil version; Satura Core, the contrast removed, revealing the design’s basic structure; and Satura Text, a more conventional and readable interpretation, suitable for smaller and longer text. Each family includes multiple weights. Satura Text adds italics. But expect the style range to grow in the future — Satura is a living project.

You can find more specimens of the various weights and styles of Satura on its gallery page.

March ’11 Staff Picks

Spring has sprung here in the Northern Hemisphere and so have our March 2011 Staff Picks! Here’s just a sample of fonts that will surely make your designs bloom.

The Axel Family, designed by Erik Spiekermann for FontShop AG, was intended as a solution for spreadsheet users who were stuck with Arial and Verdana for their tables. Axel’s legibility and economy are results of its condensed, open design and its expertly hinted TrueType outlines. And speaking of economy, the four-font package rings up at under $80.

Image courtesy of Dharma Type

Not all scripts have to be “flowery” this spring. For one that makes a bold statement, try HT Maison from Flat-it Type Foundry. HT Maison was inspired by 1950s Italian shopfront lettering, and fits right in with designer Ryoichi Tsunekawa‘s collection of retro type.

Image courtesy of Process Type Foundry

Seravek from Process Type Foundry is a linear sans serif designed to perform in identity, editorial, and information design with a quiet efficiency. Its tool belt is fully equipped with OpenType features such as small caps and figure variants, as well as Western, Central European, and Turkish language character sets.

This is just a taste of what we’ve picked for you this month. Check out the rest of our March 2011 Staff Picks here.

Complete Device Fonts Library now available in OpenType

Rian Hughes recently converted his entire Device Library to OpenType. Along with his update to the cross-platform compatible format, Hughes also added Central European language support (signified by “Pro”) to a number of Device families, including his popular neo-grotesque Paralucent.

Device is one of the largest libraries dedicated to usable display fonts. They range from grungy, distressed faces like Chase and Roadkill, to technofuturistic fonts like Outlander Nova and the Blade Runner-esque Interceptor, to quirky sans serifs like Regulator, Rogue Sans, and Register. Hughes also plays it straight to great effect, with typefaces like Ministry and English Grotesque.

Check out the entire library for some hidden gems.

Device Library OT

Aktiv Grotesk now with Greek and Cyrillic support

Dalton Maag, exclusively distributed by FontShop, recently updated their popular Aktiv Grotesk family to include Greek and Cyrillic language support. It is now available in a few versions:

  • Corporate (Western, Central/Eastern European, Cyrillic, and Greek)
  • Greek (Western, Central/Eastern European, and Greek)
  • Cyrillic (Western, Central/Eastern European, and Cyrillic)
  • Standard (Western and Central/Eastern European)

Here’s a bit about Aktiv Grotesk from our November 2010 Newsletter:

Helvetica may be the world’s most popular typeface but one man is having none of it. Type designer Bruno Maag of Dalton Maag views the ubiquitous modernist typeface’s popularity with a mixture of bemusement and irritation. So he has decided to do something about it. With the Dalton Maag team he has created Aktiv Grotesk, a typeface designed to provide an alternative (and, he hopes, improvement) to Helvetica.

January ’11 Staff Picks

The first FontShop Staff Picks of 2011 are up. Now that we’ve got our new blog rolling, I thought we could show off a few of our picks in more detail.

First up is Henrietta Samuels from Samuelstype. Like the aforementioned FF Mister K, Henrietta Samuels is full of extra ligatures and stylistic alternatives to help avoid identical forms of a single character, or combination thereof. (Notice the differing ‘ra’ ligatures above.) There’s a certain quirky, imperfect decadence to the typeface that makes it unique. Exclusive to FontShop.

Download the PDF (229 KB).

Reservation Wide, designed by Silas Dilworth of the TypeTrust, is an extended neo-grotesque face intended for headlines. Dilworth originally designed Reservation Wide for the Food Network, which uses the typeface (originally named Majestos) on its website and in on-air promos. Its terminals have a slight angle, keeping it open and approachable—one might even say appetizing. As an avid Food Network watcher, it has a place near and dear to my stomach.

Download the PDF (279 KB).

Calluna from exljbris is a playful text face that comes fully loaded with all of your favorite OpenType features. Jos Buivenga happened upon the basic structure of Calluna while “fiddling around a bit with Museo“. A fortunate accident, which you can read about in the specimen PDF. Also fortunate (which may be an understatement): you can download the Regular weight of Calluna for free. Once you’re hooked, pick up the 8-style family pack.

Remember to check out the rest of our January 2011 Staff Picks.

Upcoming Kafka book jackets featuring FF Mister K

Peter Mendelsund has designed a gorgeous new set of book jackets for the works of Franz Kafka. Scheduled to begin their release cycle in June or July through Alfred A. Knopf, the minimal and striking jackets feature three consistent components: the eye motif, bright color, and the type. Mendelsund made great use of FF Mister K by Julia Sysmäläinen, a design based on the handwritten manuscripts of Kafka.

FF Mister K is an expansive script. A single weight of FF Mister K Pro contains 1,509 total glyphs, including hundreds of ligatures (some combine up to four characters) and contextual and stylistic alternate glyphs. Accompanying the set of scripts is FF Mister K Dingbats, adding 1,345 symbols that range from flags to cityscapes to electronic devices. (No, Franz Kafka did not scribble the first iPod in his manuscripts—Sysmäläinen took a bit of creative leeway with these symbols to optimize them for modern usage.)

Download the PDF (4.4 MB).

Read much more about Peter Mendelsund’s Kafka book jackets on his blog, Jacket Mechanical.

Now at FontShop: Museo Italics

The wildly popular typeface Museo by exljbris recently welcomed a new member to its family: Museo Italics. The other upright members of the family, Museo Sans and Museo Slab, also have italic kin. This latest addition completes the family.

For those who’ve already gotten their hands on Museo, you can buy the italic bundle separately. If you’ve been holding out until now, buy the uprights and italics as a set.

FF Bau: Now available in OpenType and Web formats

Next in our series of cool font specimen PDF callouts comes FF Bau. Designed by Christian Schwartz in 2002, FF Bau is based on Schelter & Giesecke’s Grotesk, an early ancestor of Helvetica. In the most recent Fontfont update, FF Bau was rereleased in the following versions:

OpenType | Pro | Office | Office Pro | Web | Web Pro

FontFont has posted a very cool “Stylistic Set Pocket Guide”, detailing the new OpenType features in FF Bau OT. Among them are a number of alternate glyphs, figure variants, and Central European language support (in the Pro versions). You can also read more about FF Bau, and the rest of the FontFont 54 release, over at FontShop Benelux’s Unzipped.

Download the PDF (172 KB).

New: FF Fontesque Display

Included in FontFont Release #54 is the newly revised FF Fontesque Display. This new OpenType feature-laden version of FF Fontesque includes alternate glyphs for nearly every character in the typeface, including Central European characters (found in the Pro version). Designer Nick Shinn has also released a user guide/specimen PDF, detailing the family’s specifics.

Download the PDF (260 KB).